Penn International Game Reel

Posted in Penn Fishing Gear by Penn Fishing Gear on April 3, 2012

Penn International Game Reel

Lou Prato's Been Around Important News Stories All Of His Life And He Is Around One Now The Jerry Sandusky Sex-Abuse Scandal At Penn State.

Lou Prato's been around serious news stories all of his life and he is around one now the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal at Penn State.

After a long career in TV and radio reports, he moved to State Varsity to rejoin the Penn State community, where he earned his journalism degree in 1959. After writing The Penn State Soccer Encyclopedia, he became the first director of the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Now retired from the college, he writes about Penn State sports.

Prato's media career includes working and leading television and radio newsrooms in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Dayton, Ohio, as well as work with the Associated Press. His academic credentials include twelve years as head of Northwestern University's broadcast graduate programme in Washington. For years , he was a correspondent and contributing writer for the American Journalism Review.

Many stories directors know him for his more than 35-year stint on the board of the Radio-Television News Directors Organisation (now the Radio TV Digital News Organisation), including 22 years as its treasurer.

He is shaken by the scandal, but he also believes that the national media has unfairly darkened the entire establishment with their "rush to judgment, the speculation, the innuendo, the ridiculous commentary based basically on a grand jury report that still has to be proven in the court of law."

Never one to mince his words, he discussed his feelings with Contributing Editor P.J. Bednarski in a chain of mails, excerpted below.

I know the horrid things are alleged to have occurred with those children sicken you. But My opinion is that on a journalistic level, you're horrified by a number of the cover.

Concern about the cover is nothing in comparison to the simple concern all Penn Staters have for the victims of kid abuse and their kids, and I mean that sincerely.

But the way almost all of the media continues to portray Penn State, the people that live and work here, the students and faculty, the university's football team and even our alumni base, one might get the idea this whole area is inhabited by a horde of callous, heartless kid sex abusers. One satellite TV talk show host called the Second Mile "a molestation farm." Come on!

Now the numerous insincere, self-serving, second-guessing critics in the media and the gullible, blood-thirsty public they incite and influence have made Penn State symbolical of all that's bad in the American culture that is till the media moves on to another shark fest, leaving in its wake a lifetime taint of Penn Confirm that will never go irrespective of what the final truth might be.

I'm worn out disagreeing, debating and pondering everything which has happened to Penn State, to me, my family and many of my friends in the last few weeks, and it is tough to believe everything reported this far by the grand jury. Additionally, it is even more hard to believe Joe Paterno was so morally deficient as his millions of baying detractors in the media and outside it proclaim. It's so out of keeping with character of the man.

As for [Athletic Director] Tim Curley, I have met many liars in my life particularly in academia and I cannot believe Tim is a liar and morally deficient. OK, I understand. I and hundreds, if not thousands, of others were fooled by Sandusky. Therefore as to Joe and Tim, we shall see, will not we?

Therefore after all these years, this has taught you something new about the media?

I can never watch, hear, and read the news or watch or hear talk shows as I had before.

You know what injures me the most, besides what could have occurred to those boys? I used to be a part of the media, a journalism graduate who was taught not only to be fair, balanced and objective, but to be sensitive of others, to get each side of the tale, never to assume, and to not interject my personal or political sentiments into any story.

I was also shown how to be careful of the private agendas of sources as well as my own, to be suspicious of whom to trust, to be doubtful but pragmatic, to resist the temptation to be first without first assuring you have it right, and to never report a rumor because you will believe it to be true . My, how idealistic and old-fashioned.

Perhaps you don't see it being so close up and personal to this story, but this is what a lot of folks would say media do with stories like these all the time.

Look, there were times in my career I did not meet my own lofty standards. That bothers me to this day. But I didn't expect journalism to fall to this level of irresponsibility and shameful, malignant depth that it has in the last 20 years. I am sure there are countless thousands still working in the newsrooms of this country who share my view.

There has been good reporting on the nation's level, but I'm ashamed, embarrassed and I'm annoyed at how a giant contingent of the media has reported and investigated this story with such a pile-on mentality. The rush to judgment, the conjecture, the innuendo, the ridiculous commentary based basically on a grand jury report that is yet to be proven in the court of law. It has already messed up the reputation of many folks as well as Penn State School and the entire State School area community.

It's offensive to me that a large slice of the media and the general public has already made up its mind without waiting for all of the facts to come out through the court process that Joe Paterno is the final villain here for what he did or didn't do not Jerry Sandusky and that Penn State and anyone even tangentially connected with Penn State is responsible for what happened. The criticism is vicious and most of all, so self-righteous. Not simply the scurrilous web sites, where you'd expect it, but so-called "legitimate media" websites too. If you'd like more examples, read and see them on the Internet yourself.

Well, you worked for the athletic program. Did you not hear anything?

For the record, the first I heard of Sandusky's purported and I continue to use that word as I was first given training to do in journalism school kid abuse was in mid-June of 2009 when I was volunteering for the annual fund-raising Second Mile golfing tournament. I didn't know Jerry well, but I had been around him at golfing competitions and I had interviewed him a couple of times.

I was more mystified than surprised. I remember. I announced, "Jerry??? You have got to be kidding!" I knew nothing of what was then the 2 reported situations in 1998 and 2002, and like others I was shocked by the 23-page report to the grand jury. It's sickening and hard to read but I did.

I know you suspect some local reporters did some good strong reporting on this. But why failed to this story come out sooner?

There are 3 correspondents who were on it. Sara Ganim, once the crime journalist for the Centre Daily Times, who broke the first public reports of the investigation after she had progressed on to the Harrisburg Patriot-News ; Gary Sinderson, a vet "one man band" reporter-photographer for WJAC in Johnstown, who knows the Pennsylvania court system and this community inside out ; and Pat Boland, the reporter-newsman for the local dual-ownership State Varsity radio stations WRSC and ESPNRadio1450. He helped Ganim in her first job fresh out of Penn State's journalism programme in May 2008. You do not hear much about Pat because he stiffed it from brain cancer at the age of 42 in early July but he was deep into the story.

Ganim appears like a reversion to the journalism of my youth, and based primarily on what I have noted, she appears to have more judgment and street smarts than many of her older, more experienced media peers in Pennsylvania and nationally. She is just twenty-four and needs to be moderately overwhelmed with a tale like this. I just hope that she does not slip into the sloppiness that frequently infects other young journalists who are overtaken by their ego when they end up on top of a big national story.

On this Sandusky story, I call Ganim, Sinderson and Boland "The 3 Musketeers." They did not share all their info, but like many writers elsewhere they often collaborated on their research. It's unsurprising that Ganim has been the front runner in informing the general public of this story. Paper correspondents and many TV correspondents, especially in the major markets, can do that. Sinderson and Boland were constrained by the medium they were in, the range of obligations dictated by their categorical roles mixed with the need to get folk to talk in public online, disguising their faces or voices if required. That limits lots of things.

Sinderson is my sort of old-time correspondent, and he's not your average cameraman or videographer. It was Sinderson who first discovered the grand jury's report was posted on the Internet that fateful Fri., November. 4 placed there one day prematurely , by mistake and then he posted it on his station's website, and then he surprised Ganim with the news report.

But these correspondents must have known a lot was going on long before November.

Outsiders have criticized the local media and regional media for not exposing more of Sandusky's claimed grave transgressions ; of not informing the general public sooner than this past spring of the investigation ; and, most egregious of all, of not reporting the unproven rumours that were swirling around the community.

Yet, check it out. Ganim's first Patriot-News story of the investigation was on March 31. It hardly made a ripple even in Harrisburg and State College. Check out Ganim's initial story that will still be found on the Internet. There were just six comments from Web readers at the time 2 of them skeptical. Now, folk have gone back to read it and there are a load more comments now. But Ganim has said publicly she was shocked by all that absence of interest,writes

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